Who gets Yosemite? Where top landmarks would fall in 3 Californias plan
From the Merc's PATRICK MAY: "I'll trade you a piece of Yosemite Valley and all of the Napa wine country for Disneyland and the Santa Monica Pier."
"California voters will decide this November whether to split the Golden State into three entities, dubbed California, Northern California and Southern California. An initiative to divide the state, pushed by Silicon Valley venture capital investor Tim Draper, received enough signatures to qualify it for the November ballot. Supporters say splitting the state would lead to improvements in infrastructure and education while lowering taxes."
"But the idea's passage is a long shot at best: Voters polled overwhelmingly disapprove of the idea, and even if the measure does pass in November, the proposal must still be approved by Congress."
READ MORE related to Tri-State: Gavin Newsom opposes initiative to split California in three even though it was proposed by a friend -- LA Times's PATRICK MCGREEVY;
Three Californias? What you need to know -- Sac Bee's TARYN LUNA.
Villaraigosa reflects after a bruising loss in California governor's race
LA Times's SEEMA MEHTA: "In his sun-splashed home in the Hollywood Hills, Antonio Villaraigosa has been busy writing thank-you notes."
"A week after the former Los Angeles mayor’s loss in the California governor’s race, he has penned more than 100 — and has many more to go. He’s talked with longtime friends including Hillary Clinton and dined with allies such as philanthropist Eli Broad, who contributed more than $3.5 million in support of Villaraigosa’s bid."
"What he hasn’t been doing, Villaraigosa said, is second-guessing campaign tactics that led to a distant third-place finish in the June 5 primary, including a bruising defeat on his home turf to fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom. It was probably his final run for political office."
READ MORE related to Governor's Race: How Villaraigosa lost the governor's race despite tens of millions of dollars spent to boost his bid -- LA Times's SEEMA MEHTA/PHIL WILLON
It's really a big deal that SF elected London Breed as mayor
The Chronicle's HEATHER KNIGHT: "For a week, San Francisco political insiders huddled every afternoon in the bland basement of City Hall to get the latest vote counts in the mayor’s race, crunch data and make colorful precinct maps showing who was winning where."
"He’s up! She’s up! She’s up by more! Check out those trend lines!"
"Lost in all the nerding out was the sheer significance of what was being counted. On Wednesday, we could finally let it sink in: Supervisor London Breed, 43, has become the first woman of color to win election to San Francisco’s top job."
READ MORE related to Local Politics: London Breed feels her life experience can guide the city -- The Chronicle's HEATHER KNIGHT; Lots of new faces in November SF Board of Supervisors races -- The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA
Electrify America to spend $44M on Sacramento-area electric vehicles
Sacramento Bee's KELLEN BROWNING: "The city of Sacramento on Wednesday announced a $44 million investment by Electrify America to bring hundreds of electric vehicles to the city over the next year, an initiative officials hope will encourage sustainability, simplify transportation and ease traffic downtown."
"Mayor Darrell Steinberg said the project is part of a reparations effort by Volkswagen, which owns Electrify America. After its diesel emissions scandal, the automaker agreed to pay more than $20 billion in settlements, which included a deal with California to designate and invest in one "green city." Sacramento won the competition to become that city, Steinberg said, and the mayor says that success is part of a bigger goal of using more renewable vehicles beyond the city's borders."
"It’s $44 million of game-changing investment for our city and our region," Steinberg said. "Our goals are big and our vision is broad. We want to be the vision of alternative fuel technology in the entire state."
California has billions in extra money. Why don't taxpayers get a refund?
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "California state government has so much money this year that it’s opening two new savings accounts so it can keep socking away even more cash for the rainy day that Gov. Jerry Brown says is just over the horizon."
"That tactic — setting a course to pile up $16 billion in savings over the next 12 months — should reassure taxpayers that cuts to government services won’t be as severe as they were a decade ago when the state’s economy plummeted into the Great Recession."
"But the money is inviting a different kind ofpolitical problem for majority Democrats. It could be used to fuel the campaign that would repeal the 12-cents-a-gallon gas tax that they and Brown championed last year to lock in $52 billion in road repair funding for the next decade."
He became a legal resident during Reagan era. ICE arrested him as he drank coffee
Tribune News's GABBY FERREIRA: "Jose Luis Garcia, 62, was drinking coffee outside his Los Angeles-area home on Sunday morning when he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, ABC 7 reported."
"Garcia’s daughter, Natalie Garcia, told the Los Angeles Daily News that she was woken up at 7 a.m. when she heard her father yelling her name. She told the publication that she initially thought he was having a medical issue — until she went outside and saw eight agents arresting her father."
"Natalie Garcia told Fox 11 that the agents told her they were arresting her father on an administrative warrant, for a domestic violence conviction in 2001, and that they said they couldn't show her the warrant. Then they dragged him into a car."
READ MORE related to Immigration: House turmoil on DACA, immigration could affect California races -- The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH
Worker protections seen at risk in Trump health care shift
AP's RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR: "The Trump administration's latest move against "Obamacare" could jeopardize legal protections on pre-existing medical conditions for millions of people with employer coverage, particularly workers in small businesses, say law and insurance experts."
"At issue is Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent decision that the Justice Department will no longer defend key parts of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act in court. That includes the law's unpopular requirement to carry health insurance, but also widely supported provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and limit what insurers can charge older, sicker customers."
"Two independent experts said Wednesday that the administration appears to be taking aim at provisions of the ACA that protect people in employer plans, not only the smaller pool of consumers who buy a policy directly from an insurer. The new Trump administration position was outlined last week in a legal brief filed by the Justice Department in a Texas case challenging the Obama health law."
A California initiative tried to keep people out of jail. It's working, report says.
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "Proposition 47 — the 2014 ballot measure aimed at reducing penalties for certain nonviolent drug and property crimes — contributed to lower recidivism rates and did not lead to a rise in violent crime, according to a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California."
"The measure led to lower recidivism rates among lower-level offenders, reducing their re-arrest and re-conviction rates by 1.8 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively. Mia Bird, a research fellow at PPIC, said Proposition 47 succeeded in its "intended effect of reducing incarceration numbers."
"The PPIC report comes as victims' rights groups and law enforcement organizations are circulating initiative petitions to undo parts of Proposition 47. The measure could come before state voters in November."
'We have been hurt.' More women say they were mistreated by USC gynecologist
LA Times's RICHARD WINTON: "USC student Anika Narayanan says she vividly recalls her first appointment with Dr. George Tyndall at the campus health center, alleging that he made several explicit comments during an examination she felt was inappropriate and invasive."
"When she came back for a second visit in 2016 after a “nonconsensual sexual encounter,” he allegedly chastised her, she said in a civil lawsuit and at a press conference Tuesday. He “asked me if I had ‘forgotten to use a condom again,’ ” said Narayanan, 21."
Is Jerry Brown's Chipotle model the right recipe for California universities?
CALmatters' FELICIA MELLO: "Like a burrito with too many jalapeños, Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent comments that higher education in California should be more like Chipotle—with a limited menu of courses—gave some people indigestion."
"University of California student leaders immediately clapped back with an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee, then followed up by delivering burrito bowls to a state budget negotiation meeting. The real problem with public universities, they argued, wasn’t professors teaching obscure classes on “their pet little projects,” as Brown had said, but that state funding hasn’t kept pace with growing enrollment."
"The announcement of a budget deal with sizable boosts for UC and California State University coffers took the focus off Brown’s comments. But all the hullabaloo had us wondering: Was there any truth to the idea that students weren’t graduating in four years because California’s colleges just have…too many courses?"
READ MORE related to Education: Oakland Unified chided for 'highly unusual' and 'suspicious' fiscal practices -- EdSource's THERESA HARRINGTON; California needs system to track students as they move from school to workforce, report says -- EdSource's MIKHAIL ZINSHTEYN
Salmon opener brings mysteries, chance of mayhem
The Chronicle's TOM STIENSTRA: "Mystery and magic arrive next Sunday with the opening of salmon season. The potential for fishing mayhem is along for the ride."
"For thousands, the salmon opener means months of buildup with no clear idea of what awaits next weekend off the Bay Area coast. This year’s opener, delayed for months by new rules, has become a mystery challenge."
"One year — which had only a fair forecast for the opener — we cruised at dawn past the Golden Gate and made a right turn toward Duxbury off the Marin coast, the target spot for the Golden Gate Fleet. At Middlegrounds, the fish finder lit up with an abundance of bait right under our boat. Most of the fleet was to the north, steaming ahead full blast."
Comcast bids $65B for Fox assets, challenging Disney's offer
LA Times's MEG JAMES: "The Fox hunt is on."
"Comcast Corp. late Wednesday offered $65 billion in cash for much of 21st Century Fox, a 19% premium over the December offer from Walt Disney Co., which Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch had already accepted."
"To further sweeten the all-cash deal, the nation’s largest cable provider offered to pay at least $4 billion in breakup fees should Comcast fail to win regulatory approval for the deal — and to make Disney go away."
NA wins bid for World Cup 2026 -- could Bay Area host games?
The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANI: "The 2026 World Cup will be held in North America, officials announced Wednesday, raising the possibility that some games could be held in the Bay Area should the beautiful game come to California."
"Canada, Mexico and the United States were tapped to host the international tournament that occurs every four years and draws at least 3.43 million viewers."
"Despite the U.S. team’s absence from this year’s tournament, the decision to come to North America was based on the fans, according to U.S. Soccer officials."